Paul Lachine

Freihandel bis zum Überdruss

NEW YORK – Über die krausen Ideen, die mittlerweile in der Regierung der Vereinigten Staaten den handelspolitischen Hausverstand ausschalten, ist von so vielen Autoren schon so viel geschrieben worden, dass man sich fragt, ob es diesbezüglich überhaupt noch etwas zu sagen gibt. Aber es lohnt sich in Erinnerung zu rufen, was Pierre-Joseph Proudhon angeblich dem russischen Intellektuellen Alexander Herzen mitteilte: „Glauben Sie vielleicht es reicht, etwas einmal zu sagen?... Man muss es den Menschen einbläuen, es fortwährend wiederholen.“

Wir benötigen einen Leitfaden zu den wichtigsten Irrtümern in der Handelspolitik. Dies in der Hoffnung, dass im Gegensatz zum Greshamschen Gesetz, wonach gutes Geld durch schlechtes verdrängt wird, gute wirtschaftspolitische Ansätze die schlechten überflügeln. Vier Irrtümer sind dabei zu korrigieren.

Der erste Irrtum besteht in der Aussage, dass Exporte Arbeitsplätze schaffen und Importe nicht – ein Trugschluss, der nun in den USA eine Auferstehung erlebt und den der große Handelswissenschaftler Harry Johnson auf den Merkantilismus zurückführte. In einer Welt, in der Teile und Komponenten von überall kommen, gefährdet eine Intervention im Bereich der Importe die Wettbewerbsfähigkeit. Der Erfolg von Paketzustelldiensten beispielsweise hängt sowohl von Importen ab, die in einem Land verteilt werden müssen, als auch von Exporten. 

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